AMIA Bombing

AMIA (the Israelite-Argentina Mutual Aid Society) was the victim of a massive bombing in 1994.

The Argentines are still mad over it. It was their 9-11.

There is still anger over it, as this video from 2009 shows.

Arabs in Argentina had to walk a tightrope for a while after that, even though most were Christian, and had nothing to do with any of it.

What has to be remember is that many of the Arabs in Argentina are descended from people who fled Islamic extremism. This is especially true of Lebanese-Argentines who may number 1-1/2 million. Lebanese Maronites were massacred in the 19th and 20th centuries by Islamic groups.

Their strong presence in Argentina, no doubt, must introduce a strong moderating effect.

Unlike Palestinians in Chile, who have a historical connection to the conflict in Israel, the Lebanese Maronites are divorced from that struggle, and have a historical memory of fighting Muslims, not Zionists.

Argentina is not a mere Latin American banana republic, but at times has come close to being first-world.  In the 1970s, it approximated Canada in per capita income. The government is now democratic, but in the past alternated between democracy and juntas.

45% of the population is of pure European ancestry with a lot of Italians and some Germans in the mix.  Another 30% or more is what could be termed almost white:  3/4 white-1/4 Native Indian in ancestry.

So Argentina fancies itself a European outpost in Latin America, and for almost half or more the population, this is quite true.

The European influence made Argentina one of the more technoligically advanced countries in the region.

What is not as well known is how advanced Argentina was at one time. It came close to developing nuclear weapons, but called off the project after reaching a concordat with Brazil not to nuclearize South America.

What is amazing is that the USA knew of Argentina’s nuclear intentions, but was not overly concerned. For all its faults, Argentina is a Western nation.

I suspect Argentina considered selling some nuclear technology to recoup its expenses; probably not for weapons, but for allegedly peaceful uses.  For example: technology for the enriching of uranium, which can have peaceful purposes.

The US pressured Carlos Menem to stop any sales to Iran, and Menem obliged.   Iran struck back with the AMIA bombings.

Argentina is still mad over this.